Originally published on Food and Fond Memories on October 16, 2013 by sandyaxelrod Leave a Comment (Edit)

A cookbook cover with a man in a denim shirt and a straw fedora.

The Cover of Brian Malarkey’s Cookbook

When my guests come early and stay late I always take it as a compliment. It pays tribute to good food and good company which is exactly what Chef Brian Malarkey’s new book does. His new cookbook is a very welcome addition to my already huge cookbook collection. It is refreshing with playful recipes that made me want to practically eat the pages!
It seem like Brian Malarkey came onto the scene like a whirlwind. With the opening of his first restaurant Searsucker in 2010 he started a naming trend highlighting different fabrics as his inspiration. I know this sounds very weird but it all started just before Searsucker was about to open and still had no name. He happened to mention to his wife Chantelle that it was a shame he wouldn’t get to wear his searsucker suit on opening day. He noticed a light bulb go off in Chantelle’s head. “Wouldn’t that be a great name for a restaurant?” she said. And it stuck! He wanted his guests to feel comfortable like they would dressed in searsucker – relaxed and feeling good. And enjoying unpretentious food. So what began with Searsucker now includes four additional restaurants Gingham, Gabardine, Herringbone and Burlap.
His food may not be fancy, but it sure is delicious. I have made a few of the dishes from the book and they were fabulous. The best part was that they required no special equipment or a pile of pots, pans and utensils. Brian calls himself the “tong chef”. In his intro he states “this is how I cook. I am the unapologetic Tong Chef – nearly everything I cook can be done with a pair of tongs.” In a blog post of his written in the days leading up to the opening of Searsucker Brian wrote something that he says still holds true today. “I can guarantee one thing for sure and that is it will be an incredible play performed in the public eye with lots of story lines, hopefully seasoned with comedy, with a dash of drama and, of course, served up with lots of love. A true love story straight from the heart.” And that is exactly what this book is! Early in my career, horse racing was a big part of my life. I still love it. And I like to have a few things on the menu that remind me of the down-and-dirty excitement and adrenaline of the Derby and the other great classic American races around the country. Grilled peaches, my special mayo made with bacon fat, and a little whiskey thrown in for good measure — that’s a horse of a different (and delicious) color! The FEAST is on! Get dirty with your pork butt!!!